Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Brazil's highly-rated youngster Maycon as the midfielder is reportedly expected to join Ukrainian outfit Shakhtar Donetsk for an undisclosed fee.
According to Sport Mediaset, the 20-year-old is expected to be the replacement for Fred - who has been tipped to join Manchester City in the summer - leaving both Napoli and the Gunners to take their midfield search elsewhere.
The Corinthians midfielder is said to have impressed during his time with the Brazilian outfit after becoming a linchpin in Fabio Carille’s title-winning team last season.
The central midfielder is set to follow in the footsteps of national compatriots such as Willian, Fernandihno and Douglas Costa, all of whom made the step to Ukraine following their breakthrough in Brazil - where he could be set to join the likes of Bernard, Taison and Marlos at Shakhtar in the summer.
Missing out on the 20-year-old comes as a major blow to Arsenal's transfer plans as Arsene Wenger's side are in desperate need of a defensive-minded player who can protect a lacklustre defence.
With Granit Xhaka and Mohamed Elneny proving to offer more questions than answers in a deep lying role, the Gunners will need to extend their search to address the longstanding issue.
In other news, Everton boss Sam Allardyce has admitted he holds transfer target Jack Wilshere in high regard - the 26-year-old's contract is set to expire at the end of the season having failed to sign an extension with the north London club.
Although refusing to reveal too much, Allardyce said, via the Mirror: “I've always admired him, oh yes."
(You may also be interested in Report Claims Lack of Champions League Money Could Be Key in Arsenal's Wilshere Negotiations)